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Britt-Marie Was Here:

A Novel

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A May 2016 LibraryReads Pick

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

From the bestselling author of the “charming debut” (People) A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, a heartwarming and hilarious story of a reluctant outsider who transforms a tiny village and a woman who finds love and second chances in the unlikeliest of places.

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.

As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.

Thus begins a beautiful and unlikely partnership. In her new role as reluctant mentor to these lost young boys and girls, Britt-Marie soon finds herself becoming increasingly vital to the community. And even more surprisingly, she is the object of romantic desire for a friendly and handsome local policeman named Sven. In this world of oddballs and misfits, can Britt-Marie finally find a place where she belongs?

Zany and full-of-heart, Britt-Marie Was Here is a novel about love and second chances, and about the unexpected friendships we make that teach us who we really are and the things we are capable of doing.

Editorial Reviews

“A brilliant mix of belly laughs, profound insight, and captivating events delivered…with Backman’s pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature.”

Shelf Awareness

“Narrator Joan Walker perfectly captures [Britt-Marie’s] every emotion and character trait…Walker also captures the voice of the secondary characters—from the scrappy young footballers to the quirky adults, who all come together because of Britt-Marie’s presence in their lives. Walker’s engaged, seamless narration combined with the heartwarming story makes for delightful listening. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

AudioFile

“Backman hits a nice note between overly sweet and hard-boiled fiction; excellent for book clubs.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“[A] heartwarming story about a woman rediscovering herself…Details of Britt-Marie’s character, what her husband cited as her being ‘socially incompetent,’ increasingly endear her to the reader. Insightful and touching, this is a sweet and inspiring story about truth and transformation.”

Publishers Weekly

“Britt-Marie’s metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly seems all the more remarkable for the utterly discouraging environment in which it takes place.”

Booklist

Author Biography

Fredrik Backman is a Swedish blogger and columnist. He is author of a work of nonfiction, Things My Son Needs to Know about Life, and A Man Called Ove, his first novel, which has sold more than 500,000 copies in its native country and will be published in more than twenty-five languages all over the world. He was reported the most successful author in Sweden in 2013.

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